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Community Engagement Personnel Guidelines


The University of Texas at Brownsville aspires to be recognized as the nation’s premier community university, dedicated to designing innovative processes to strengthen student learning and establish a culture of civic responsibility through community engagement.

Personnel Action Guidelines

To realize the Vision, UTB expects that faculty contributions to community engagement will be recognized for personnel actions. Please consider the guidelines below to recognize activities of community engagement in your departmental and college/school standards and expectations for personnel actions.


Recognize curricular service learning using this definition: Curricular SL is any intentional, active, reflective work related to course outcomes, and which students do to meet community needs. Students and community members must learn from each other; reciprocity and interactions are key. If an agency is involved, it cannot be a large corporation; however, a hospital could be a SL site (Furco, 2009).

Thus, you are engaging students in SL if they are:

  • helping anyone outside of UTB (except for large, for-profit large corporations -- hospitals are OK)
  • volunteering as part of course work, extra credit or for a grade, and connecting this volunteerism during class discussions or in their writing.

Examples of service learning could be, but are not limited to:

  • organizing or participating in health fairs and clinicals
  • tutoring; providing information sessions for the public
  • arranging or judging science fairs
  • assisting teachers and other community professionals (except those who work in for-profit large corporations, hospitals are OK)
  • field experiences
  • advocacy plays and writing
  • research (gathering, finding, and reporting information in the public interest to the public)
  • conducting activities that help flora, fauna, and the environment
  • arranging local conferences and workshops in which local people can participate for free
  • internships or practica involving student written reflections


Recognize the scholarship of applied research and practice that focuses on community engagement, including articles and presentations related to service learning (see definition above) or community engagement. Community engagement would consist of collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global,)for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

Examples of “scholarship of engagement” could be, but are not limited to:

  • action research study
  • conference presentation
  • pedagogy workshop
  • publication
  • technical report
  • research report
  • policy report
  • curriculum development
  • organizing workshop or conference
  • grant
  • curriculum development
  • organizing workshop or conference
  • grant


Recognize service to the community and co-curricular activities for students that center on community service, civic responsibility and volunteering.

Examples of community service, civic responsibility and volunteering, could be, but are not limited to:

  • co-organize autism summer camp
  • co-organize workshop or health fair
  • co-organize science fair
  • assist in organizing a candidates forum

Ethel Cantu, AVPAA July, 2010

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